possessed by

*possessed by something

obsessed or driven by something. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) Ned was possessed by a desire to become the best at everything he did. Jan acts as if she is possessed by the need to be right all the time.
See also: possessed

possessed by

Driven by, obsessed with, as in He was possessed by the idea of becoming a millionaire. This idiom employs possess in the sense of "dominate one's thoughts or ideas," a usage dating from the late 1500s.
See also: possessed
References in classic literature ?
My parents were possessed by the very spirit of kindness and indulgence.
D'Artagnan returned to the Rue Tiquetonne with Porthos, still possessed by the wish to find out who the man was that he had killed.
Bank president Neil McCurry is a man possessed by films--so smitten that, as a 40th birthday present to himself last summer, he wrote, filmed and produced a 20-minute horror movie called Possessed, which premiered last fall at the Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, Pa.
John's gospel, interestingly, has no stories about demons, but Jesus is accused of being possessed by one on three separate occasions.
Michel believed she was possessed by demons and, when medical treatment failed, her family searched for a priest to perform an exorcism.
Knowledge possessed by an organization helps in generating innovations, making changes to product and service offerings and outwitting competitors.
Each crimped polyester fiber possesses a tensile strenght about the same as the tensile factor possessed by an otherwise identical uncrimped polyester fiber.
The secular books possessed by the Novarese priests can be divided into a number of categories.
One cult member is possessed by the Governor, others by the General and his staff; the movements of the Hauka mimic the rigid gestures of these colonial masters, as Rouch shows them in a parade-ground march.
All officers, particularly narcotics officers, should inquire about weapons possessed by known felons when interviewing informants or witnesses.
That this description comes from Tashi during a session with her psychoanalyst strengthens Sander Gilman's claim that "the line from the secrets possessed by the 'Hottentot Venus' to twentieth-century psychoanalysis runs reasonably straight" (257).
Noting the common personification of women as abstract virtue in private scientific imagery as well as in public statuary, Jordanova overlooks the implications of authority in these images to dwell on the metaphor of nature as an erotic woman covered and veiled, quiescent in waiting to be unveiled and possessed by male scientists.
When I arrived at Beauvoir's temple, he appeared to be possessed by Ogoun, the god of warriors whose symbol is fire; the participants at the ceremony knew which god had possessed him because of the dance he was performing.
A board's knowledge of conducting business or evaluating the quality of opportunities in a specific country may differ from that possessed by the company's management.
Keynote will leverage the deep expertise in performance management and testing possessed by the Hudson Williams professional services team by fully integrating the team with Keynote's Enterprise Solutions Group.